Answering a basic question can potentially come back to haunt you with this new phone scam that's targeting people all over the United States.

"Can you hear me?" may not seem like a strange question to ask, but if that's the first thing you hear when answering your phone, hang up immediately. There's a new scam going around where scammers will call you and ask, "can you hear me?" and then record your response of, "yes," to use against you later on.

How does it work, exactly? Hypothetically, the scammers will take steal your information, like a credit card number, and use it to make some sort of big purchase. There are then two variations of the scam. Consumerist reports:

"If you dispute the charges, the company may take legal action, sticking that recording of you saying “yes” into a recording of a different conversation as evidence that you agreed to the transaction.

Another variation uses that recording to “prove” that you agreed to charges on a credit card of yours when the perpetrators have already stolen the number."

The good news is, according to Snopes, there are reports of the "can you hear me" calls, but as of now there are no documented cases of people being victimized after these calls. So the calls may be happening, but nobody has had their response used against them.

The best way to avoid this is to NEVER answer a call from a number that you don't know, even if it has a local area code. Scammers can alter phone numbers to make it look like a local call, so you'll be more likely to pick up. I hit "ignore" every time a number I don't know calls me, and then I wait to see if they leave a voicemail. If it's a legitimate call from a person or a business, they'll always leave a voicemail. If they don't, I'll do a quick Google search of the phone number just to make sure it's not from an actual business (it never is), and then I'll block the number in my phone. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have blocked probably 100 numbers from calling me. It's absolutely ridiculous.

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